King Sahure

Sahure is the son of Khentkaus I, who was said to have been the “mother of two kings” in her tomb in Giza, Perhaps his father was Userkaf, No wives or children know him nor do any of his children seem to have lived after him, as his brother succeeded him.

According to the Turin King List, King Sahure ruled for 12 years, The Palermo Stone notes a 7 census of cattle, indicating a rule period of at least 13 years provided that the number of cattle is maintained continuously every two years.

King Sahure ,Syrian bears, from Sahure’s funerary complex at Abusir
King Sahure ,Syrian bears, from Sahure’s funerary complex at Abusir

King Sahure

Like Userkaf, King Sahure built a solar temple, named Sekhmet-Re, whose location has yet to be determined, It is sometimes assumed that instead of building his solar temple, he actually modified his father’s temple and gave it another name. However, textual evidence indicates that Sekhmet-Re was a different temple that was in use at the same time as Userkaf’s temple.

He was the first king to build his own pyramid complex at Abu Sir, a few kilometers north of Saqqara, This move to Abu Sir was already started by Userkaf, who built his solar temple there.

Inscriptions in his mortuary temple and valley depict a number of foreigners in front of or in front of the goddess Seshat and the return of a fleet from Asia, possibly Byblos, This may indicate a military interest in the Near East, but the contacts may have been diplomatic and commercial as well.

As part of contacts with the Near East, inscriptions from its funerary monuments also bear the oldest known representation of Syrian bears, Some believe that the relief showing the war against Libya is historical while others are merely ritua,The Palermo Stone also mentions the expeditions in the Sinai and the strange land of Punt, as well as to the diorite quarries northwest of Abu Simbel, further into Nubia.

Sahure Pyramid Complex at Abusir

King Sahure was the first king to build his funerary monument in Abu Sir, In this, he may have been influenced by Userkaf’s decision to build a solar temple at Abu Sir, Another factor that will definitely determine Sahure’s choice is the vicinity of AbuSir Lake to the east, which made the complex easily accessible to the funerary sect that was supposed to contain it.

The funerary complex contained all the elements that at that time became standard : a pyramid in the west with its entrance to the north, and a mortuary temple extending to the east, There was also a satellite pyramid in the southeast and the Wadi Temple, The Queen’s Pyramid appears to be missing, However, the interior design of the pyramid, the mortuary temple and the valley temple, were still not uniform in King Sahure time.

King’s pyramid

The pyramid was relatively small, measuring 78.75 square meters and originally only 47 meters in height. Its core was made of limestone blocks of rough shape that had been mined to the west of Abusir. They were placed in five or six degrees, fixing the blocks with clay mortar.

In the north, the builders left a large gap that allowed them to work on the inner structure of the pyramid while building the core around it, This gap was later filled with debris.

Sahure’s pyramid
The internal structure of the pyramid is very simple. The entrance is to the north, a little east from the center, near ground level.

A short descending walkway lined with red granite is blocked at the bottom by a heavy granite gate,From there, the corridor, which is 1 meter high and 1 meter wide, and lined with little limestone ascends slightly towards the burial chamber, The last part of the passage before entering the burial chamber again is lined with granite.

The burial chamber is a fairly simple rectangular chamber measuring 12.6 x 3.15 meters. The roof was covered with three layers of enormous limestone beams. The burial chamber was badly damaged and only one part of the basalt sarcophagus was found.

sahure complex
sahure complex

The Mortuary Temple of king sahure

Although the internal structure of the mortuary temple has not yet been standardized in the time of King Sahure, it is clearly a precursor to most of the later funerary temples in the Old Kingdom.

Its entrance, a granite-framed entrance, led into an enclosed passage that was placed around a columned plaza, The inscriptions show the king, accompanied by his entourage, being hunted and hunted, This symbolizes the king taming the forces of wild nature, which is one of his sacred duties.

Columns in the courtyard have palm frond crowns and their columns display the king’s name, In the middle of this courtyard was an offering table made of Egyptian alabaster (calcite), The reliefs on the walls show the king’s victories over his enemies, which were, once again, part of his sacred duties, A unique relief on the open court represents some of the bears that may have been imported from Asia.

A transverse corridor west of the columned hall separates the outer and inner temple, One of the earliest examples of inscriptions representing a cruise can be found on the eastern wall, while the small rooms in the west are decorated with scenes of personified provinces carrying offerings to the temple, Offerings were stored, perhaps only symbolically, in magazines on either side of the temple.

After the main axis of the temple, a short staircase of alabaster led to a room with 5 niches, each of which was supposed to contain a statue of the King Sahure.

Only fragments remain from the sanctuary of the temple, its false door in front of which the priests would deposit daily offerings to the deceased king, It also contained a granite statue of the king and an offering basin with a bank of copper tubes, In the north wall, a granite entrance led to five more rooms, two of which also had limestone sinks with copper sinks.

The Mortuary Temple of sahure
The Mortuary Temple of sahure

The Satellite Pyramid of King Sahure

The satellite pyramid is located in the southeast corner of the main pyramid, It had a small entrance to the north that led to the “burial chamber”, It was enclosed by a fence of its own.

The Valley Temple King Sahure

The Valley Temple is located on the edge of AbuSir Lake, It had two lanes to descend, one facing east, the other facing south, and the last might be in the direction of Sahure’s royal palace.


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